Category Archives: Online Storage

Get a Free 250 MB Upgrade by Clicking the “Get Started” Tab in Dropbox

dropbox_gift I’ve been a happy Dropbox user since the private-beta was released a couple years ago. It’s by far my favorite file storage and syncing service, and it gives me peace of mind about backups of critical files.

If you’re an old-timer like me, you may not have noticed the Get Started tab when you log into your Dropbox web account. Click it and walk through the basic usage tutorial that it presents. When you’ve finished, you may receive a free 250 MB storage upgrade. It worked for me. More storage space is always appreciated.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account yet, you can receive two gigabytes of storage for free plus an extra 250 MB by using this signup link.

TunesBag Stores and Shares Your Music Online – Free Invites

tunesbag-logo Currently in beta, tunesBag is a free browser-based media player that allows you to (legally) upload your music, play it online, and share with other people.

Think of tunesBag as an online version of iTunes that grants you access to your full audio library from any computer with an Internet connection. Since it’s entirely web based, it lacks features such as CD ripping and iPod syncing, but that’s not really the point. What it does offer is the ability to sit down at any computer and immediately have your full music library at your disposal.

Here’s the main window. Hard to believe this is all running in a browser, huh?

TunesBag - Main Window

Uploading Your Music

tunesBag offers several ways to upload your music files, including a browser-based uploader, an installable Desktop Uploader (currently Windows only), via e-mail, and directly from elsewhere on the Web.

TunesBag - Upload Options

There’s currently no hard limit on how much you can upload, though they do ask that you contact them if you plan to upload more than 5-7 GB of files. tunesBag supports MP3, M4A, WMA, and OGG. Audio files laden with DRM are not supported, sorry.

The browser uploader allows for multiple-file uploads, plus creating a playlist for the uploaded files.

TunesBag - Browser Uploader

The Desktop Uploader (Windows only) has some more advanced features. Those of you with existing iTunes or Winamp libraries will appreciate the ability to upload your existing library (or just selected playlists). No such love yet for us MediaMonkey fans, but perhaps the developers could consider it for future releases.

TunesBag - Desktop Uploader

Another cool feature of the Desktop Uploader is that you can use it to completely restore your original audio files back to your computer in case of catastrophic hard disk failure. In this sense, tunesBag functions as a backup for your original files.

TunesBag - Uploader Restore

General Usage

After you have uploaded audio files, tunesBag will analyze them for you and create acoustic fingerprints to help you fix any missing or incorrect elements, such as the album name or cover art. This is a pretty handy feature, and tunesBag will present to you multiple options in case there’s a potential conflict.

TunesBag - Fix Meta Tags

While playing a song, you have control over playback using the transport bar at the bottom of the page, including options for volume, repeat, and randomize.

TunesBag - Transport Bar

Just like with most media players, you can search and sort your music library by genre, artist, or album. You can also create any number of playlists that you like.

TunesBag - Sorting Library

Whenever you hover over each Title, you can bring up a menu for each song by clicking the arrow. This presents a number of options, such as adding that song to a playlist, commenting, sharing, editing Meta information, and deleting. You can also download the original audio file.

TunesBag - Menu Options

Only the original owner can actually download the original audio file, but this brings up the issue of file sharing.

Sharing

Since tunesBag runs completely online, it seems only natural that the ability to share files should be inherent to the way it works. It is… to an extent.

You can share individual files or full playlists in just about any way imaginable: by e-mail, via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or through a direct link to a sharing page. You can also add friends and view their music directly within tunesBag.

The important aspect here is that friends can only stream your music (and vice-versa) – they cannot download and keep the original files. While I am definitely not a lawyer, the streaming-only nature of tunesBag should keep it protected from the likes of the RIAA. tunesBag is a legal service in Austria, the country in which it operates.

See for yourself – Want to listen to that Apocalyptica album that I uploaded in one of the above screenshots? Sure, just click here.

Invitations

While in beta, tunesBag is completely free. While they may eventually offer premium services, hopefully a free version will always exist.

The private beta requires an invitation to join. We have 18 invitations available for TipsFor.us readers. To receive an invitation, just ask for an invite in the comments below. Be sure to leave your valid e-mail address in the e-mail field. We’ll contact you as soon as possible. As always, first come, first serve!

Who.hasfiles Updates, Enables Web Sharing

Who-hasfiles web sharing The free remote file storage service – Who.hasfiles.com – has recently updated to include web sharing and hosting capabilities. We’ve written about Who.hasfiles.com before.

Essentially, Who.hasfiles offers 100 MB of free online storage. No, that’s not a whopping amount of space by any means, but what sets them apart is the manner in which you access it. Who.hasfiles allows for remote drive mapping from your operating system, all without installing anything. Your 100 MB of storage simply shows up as another disk or as a remote folder.

They have instructions for mapping the drive in Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Web Sharing

The new feature that they are rolling out is the ability to share and hotlink files over the Web. Setting it up couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is create a folder called web in the root of your storage space.

Who-hasfiles web folder

Anything you put inside the web folder is directly accessible on the Internet. Whoever access the link to your web folder will see a list of all your shared files. Speaking of which, the link to your web folder is as follows:

http://your-user-name.hasfies.com/web

People who access the link to your web folder will see a list of all your shared files. It’s great for quick-and-dirty file sharing.

Who-hasfiles - habibbijan web

File/Web Hosting

Another use for the Who.hasfiles web folder is direct linking (hotlinking) to files. For starters, you can upload your own index.html file if you don’t want people to see everything in your web folder. Heck, you can even build a small website with only static files (sorry, no PHP here).

A much more powerful use, though, is embedding files directly in blogs or forums. One area where this can be greatly useful is if you have a Blogger account or WordPress.com blog. Neither of those sites allow you to upload audio files, so this is another great way to get around Blogger’s upload limitations.

As you might expect, all you have to do to link directly to a file in your Who.hasfiles.com account is to first make sure that file is inside your web folder. Next, just type the full path to the file, like this:

http://your-user-name.hasfiles.com/web/name-of-file.pdf

In my case, I want to directly access that MP3 file in the picture above. For me to do so, all I have to do is type:

http://habibbijan.hasfiles.com/web/bondari-demo.mp3

Try it! In this manner, you can link to specific files from Blogger, WordPress.com, online forums, or from anywhere else you want. Hint: I suggest leaving all filenames lowercase and omitting spaces to avoid link frustrations.

I don’t know yet if Who.hasfiles imposes any bandwidth restrictions. I doubt it, especially considering that the free account only allows for 100 MB of storage. If someone from the company could comment, we all would appreciate it.

As we’ve mentioned before, you don’t get much space with Who.hasfiles, but we love how convenient it is to map a remote drive from any operating system. Just think of it like a remote USB flash drive from 2003. The addition of file hosting (and direct linking) is a welcome update.

Get 100 MB free at Who.hasfiles.com.

ADrive – 50GB of Free Storage (Online Storage Series)

In continuing our online storage series, today we’re going to look at ADrive, which offers a whopping 50GB of free storage. So far we have taken a look at:

Note: In addition to the free plan, ADrive also offers paid plans with additional features and storage space. For this article, I’m using the free version.

For a free offering, ADrive is loaded with features. Here are a few of them:

  • 50 GB storage (per account)
  • Multiple folder upload (Nice!)
  • File-sharing capabilities
  • Remote file transfer
  • Integration with Zoho Editor
  • ADrive Backup Client (Windows only at the moment)

Upgrading to the cheapest paid version also adds SSL encryption and WebDAV access (mapping as a network drive). These two features alone are worth the upgrade price. Also, the free version is ad-supported.

Once you register for an account, you can start creating folders and uploading files. Here is what the main window looks like. I’ve already added a few folders.

Notice the buttons at the bottom of the window. They allow for file/folder manipulation (move, copy, create directory, share, and delete).

Uploading

There are several different ways to get files into ADrive, but the most common way is using the Java upload tool. If you don’t have Java installed already, you should do so. The first time you try to upload a file, Java will start to load. If you want, tell it to “Always trust….”

Once Java loads, you will have access to a Java uploader than can upload multiple files and folders simultaneously.

While loading Java can be sluggish, I absolutely LOVE the ability to upload a hierarchy of folders at once, keeping their original structure intact.

Except… there’s a big problem with using a browser-based Java uploader. Once Java comes to the forefront, it seizes control, and the rest of the browser is rendered absolutely useless. You can’t switch tabs or even minimize appropriately. The only browser I’ve found that gets around this annoying problem is Google Chrome (due to its multi-threaded approach).

If you want to avoid Java, a Basic Uploader is available, but it can only upload one file at a time.

Downloading

To download files, you can simply navigate the folder hierarchy and double-click the file you want to download. Easy enough…

Or, you can use the more advanced Java downloader. With it, you can select multiple files (control-click or shift-click), and the utility will automatically create folders on your computer, keeping the hierarchy intact. Brilliant!

Remote Transfer

Another one of my favorite features is the ability to remotely transfer a file from elsewhere on the Internet straight into ADrive. Considering that remote transfer is usually only available in paid accounts in other services, I’m glad to see that ADrive offers it for free.

Here is a remote transfer in progress:

Other Features

If you’re a Zoho user, you will be pleased to know that you can directly open and edit files from within ADrive. Just right-click on any compatible file and look for the Edit in Zoho button.

I admit, I’m disappointed that OpenOffice documents are not yet supported. This is a shame considering that Zoho can handle OpenOffice files. Hopefully ADrive will correct this soon.

On the other hand, the ADrive Backup Client is slick tool that’s available for Windows users. This small utility allows you to set up scheduled backups, restores, and synchronizations.

Though the Backup Client used to be limited to a 30-day trial, it is now free for all accounts. While I certainly applaud ADrive for making it free, I also wish to see a client for Mac/Linux.

Sharing

As with most other online storage services, ADrive allows for public sharing of files. Simply select a file and click the Share button.

You can then view a direct link to the file, and choose to download or e-mail it to a friend.

If you can’t tell, I like ADrive. I have been using it for many months, but it took a while to grow on me. The interface is functional, but not as slick as other services, and I was turned off by the 30-day trial of the Backup Client (now free).

Mainly, the sheer amount of space and special features – such as the Remote Transfer option – have propelled ADrive near the top of my favorites list for online storage. I can see myself paying the $69.50 per year for the addition of SLL, WebDAV, and file history recovery.

That said, I highly recommend the free edition, though I also suggest using it with Google Chrome to avoid the Java-seizing-the-browser issue.

Happy storage!

Dropbox Goes Live – Free 2GB of Synchronized Storage for All!

Dropbox logo

I am pleased to report that Dropbox has fully opened to the public, no more invitations needed! A few weeks ago I reviewed Dropbox (see review) and concluded that it was the online storage service of my dreams. I still hold to that claim.

Everyone who signs up receives 2 GB of storage space. Not only that, you can easily link multiple computers to your Dropbox account and effortlessly keep your files in sync. It’s like FolderShare, but with an online backup element. Yes, it’s a dream come true. 🙂

Clients are available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (beta). There’s even an iPhone client. Here I am installing the Dropbox client on Ubuntu 8.04.

Freshly Installed

As of now, Dropbox is the free storage service that I recommend most to others. If they rollout a “Pro” version with more features and storage, I’d be tempted to upgrade. Still, the free service is excellent.

If you only use one online storage service, I heartily recommend Dropbox.

File Savr – Another Free 250 GB Storage Account?

If you missed the offer last May for 250 GB of free storage from FileDropper, you may have a second chance. A company called File Savr now has the exact same offer (free premium accounts), valid until September 15.

Signup

If you wish to grab your free 250 GB online storage, use their special link. Though they claim that the offer is for bloggers and Digg users, anyone can register.

FileSavr.com was created as a fresh alternative to sites like MegaUpload and RapidShare. Unlike those sites, we do not reel the user in and make them wait for annoying countdown timers. We do not hide the download link with aggressively placed ads. Our goal is simple, to offer the most basic file hosting and image hosting service so you can share your stuff quickly.

As a thank you to the community we are offering free accounts on FileSavr.com to bloggers as well as members of Digg, Stumble, Reddit, Mixx, Del.icio.us. To get your free account fill out the form below to receive to get $10 monthly account (250 GB) absolutely free. Accounts created before September 15th will have lifetime membership for free. If you like the service we hope you will help us with small donations via paypal.

Offer expires September 15th. WARNING: The service is very slow due to extreme demand right now.

Signing up only requires a username, password, and e-mail address. Painless.

Usage

For all intents and purposes, File Savr is EXACTLY the same as File Dropper. The offer is the same. The interface is the same. The prices are the same. Heck, the only different between the two sites is the logo. It makes me wonder why the people behind File Dropper felt the need to create a re-badged version of their existing site. Let me show you what I mean:

FileSavr Manager

File Dropper Manager

Other than logo, there is no difference. Well, I should mention that File Savr supposedly offers an upload limit of 10 GB, whereas File Dropper limits upload size to 5 GB. So, yes, there is a slight difference.

Admittedly, I’ve had trouble with File Dropper. Every time I try to upload a file larger than 500 MB or so, I receive an error and the upload fails. Perhaps it’s my Internet connection? Perhaps it’s File Dropper? Nevertheless, the result is that I’ve hardly been able to use my account.

Still, between the two, I now have 500 GB of online storage at my disposal. I only hope I’ll be able to take advantage of it.

Act now, and you too can claim 250 GB of space. Just be sure to use their special link. I only hope you’ll have better luck with uploading than I’ve had.

Get Access to Box.net Storage from Ubuntu in Seconds

I’ve had a Box.net online storage account for a few years now. While they only offer 1 GB for free, it’s handy for quickly backing up small important files, such as handouts I create for the classes I teach.

While anyone can log into the web interface at any time, it’s also possible to access your storage space through WebDAV. Here’s how to do it on Ubuntu Linux, though any GNOME-based distro should work the same way.

First, go to the Places menu → click Connect to Server. In the window that spawns, change the Service Type to WebDAV (HTTP).

Enter the following information:

  • Server: box.net
  • Folder: /dav
  • Check the Add bookmark box (so you don’t have to go through this process later)
  • User Name: (optional) enter your Box.net e-mail address
  • Bookmark name: anything you prefer

Click the Connect button, then enter your login credentials in the next window.

I suggest choosing the Remember forever option, unless you are on a shared computer. Voila! You should now have read/write access to your Box.net storage space from within Nautilus. Go ahead and try adding or deleting files.

Quick tip: You can also directly edit files on the Box.net server. In the screenshot below, I’m using OpenOffice on Ubuntu to open a document stored in my Box account.

The only quirk is that OpenOffice spawned a window asking me to provide login credentials again, but after that, it’s just like editing a document directly on your computer (albeit slower).

Tested on Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron.”

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